Tear off the Mask, and Start Life Afresh

Chen Dan     Hunan Province

At the end of last year, the gospel work in the area I was responsible for was not able to take off, so God’s family transferred a brother from another area to take over my work. However, I wasn’t informed prior to that, and when I heard about this from a sister I was partnering with, I didn’t feel good. I felt like the person in charge did not inform me for fear of me not being able to step away from the position and harass people, so I formed an opinion about the sister who was in charge. When we met at her request, she asked what I thought about the replacement, I wanted to speak the truth but was afraid if I did, she would have a bad impression of me, and think I was trying to vie for status. Hence I pretended to be relaxed, and said, “Nothing. I am not too good with substantive work so the replacement is necessary. I don’t have any opinion. I am willing to obey whichever duty God’s family assigns me to perform in the future.” In this way, I hid my true self but gave the sister in charge an illusion. After that God’s family made me a worker, and in the first co-workers meeting, the newly transferred leader talked about his situation with openness. One phrase from him, “losing all standing and reputation and be utterly discredited” hit my sore spot. It was as if he was talking about me, and I sat there feeling particularly sad, with tears in my eyes that I resisted so others would not see them. At that moment, I wanted to open up but was afraid of being looked down by my co-workers. I hid my actual situation once again, out of concern for my face, and did not want them to see how refined I was, and even faked a smiley face so they felt my situation was normal. In this way, I returned to my worksite feeling negative, and even though I didn’t dare to neglect carrying out the work, working from early morning till dark, the busier I got, the worse the effects, and there were loopholes everywhere. The gospel work was almost paralyzed and the first-line director and some of his members were arrested by the CCP police. In the face of this situation, my heart was about to collapse, and I was bent on waiting to be replaced…. Even so I was not willing to open up to others, and still pretended to be strong in front of the brothers and sisters.

One day, during devotions, I heard a passage from Christ’s fellowship, “Some people are deeply afraid of the brothers and sisters knowing which difficulties they have when associating with the brothers and sisters. They are afraid of the brothers and sisters blaming him, and afraid to be looked down by the brothers and sisters. When they talk, they always leave others the impression that they are very enthusiastic, that they desire God, and they are very willing to practice the truth, but in truth, they are particularly weak at heart and are extremely negative. They pretend to be strong so people cannot see through them. This is also considered deceitful. In short, no matter what you do, whether in life or in serving God, or in performing your duty, if you can show others an illusion and use your illusion to confuse others so they look up to you or do not look down on you, that is all considered deceit!” (“An Honest Person Should Lay Himself Bare to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church). I was stunned by the passage. Christ’s words of judgment shook my heart. Reflecting on my actions, I realized that I am precisely the deceitful person revealed through God’s words, and a true hypocrite. For the leader and co-workers to think I am someone who can put aside my position, and obey the arrangements of God’s family, I did not hesitate to disguise myself and hide the truth at the cost of the work of God’s family and the lives of brothers and sisters. I was unwilling to show them my negative situation and performance after being replaced, resulting in being replaced as a leader to becoming a worker, that even though I was particularly negative and weak on the inside, deceitful_pretendI pretended to be strong on the outside. I kept living in Satan’s foolishness, living in misunderstanding and betraying God and still not willing to open up and seek the truth to resolve my corrupt disposition. I am truly deceitful and sinister! Regardless of how well I hid or pretended, I was unable to escape God’s inspection. Through the effects in work, the Holy Spirit revealed everything, that I am really not someone who can give up my position, but I am a person who deceive and confuse brothers and sisters with the illusion of appearance while trying to maintain my status and face. Do I not know that my actions not only harm myself, but also cause great damage to the work of God’s family? It is really too dangerous manipulating and playing games with my own life and the work of God’s family!

I couldn’t help but ask myself at this point: Why do I always give others an illusion? Isn’t it because I am deceitful by nature and it controls how I always maintain my face and place? Under the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, I realized that Satan’s poisons of “A tree lives with its bark and a man lives with his face” and “A wild goose leaves behind a voice; a man leaves behind a reputation” are deeply rooted within me, causing me to be at its mercy in everything I do. Recalling my past revelation: Many a times I have done things that are against the principle of truth in performing my duty. Because I cared about my face, I hid the truth fearing others will evaluate me badly after I tell the truth. I know often I should open up and communicate with others given my situation is not good, but I am afraid if I did, I would be looked down. That is why I rather be refined than to seek the way of the light by opening up to others, causing me to suffer a great loss in my own life. Anyway, once it concerns my reputation and face, I would become deceitful and pretend, creating an illusion to deceive God and confuse people. Even though God has saved me through repeated revelations, I was still dominated by my deceitful nature to use illusion to deceive God and confuse people. How can God work in me? How can I be saved if I go on like this? How can I not incur God’s wrath? In my fear and tremble, I bowed before God: Almighty God, I am truly unworthy of coming before You! Because of my deceitful nature, I have caused great losses to the work of God’s family. However, You did not treat me based on my actions, and instead gave me a chance to repent. Now I don’t seek Your forgiveness, or that others will look up to me. I only ask that Your judgment and chastisement not leave me, so that I can see Your righteous disposition in Your chastisement and judgment, that I will understand my deceitful nature more deeply, and remove my camouflage and be honest.

Later, I read God’s words: “Honesty means to give your heart to God; to never play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never cover the truth; to never do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and to never do that which is done merely to ingratiate yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man. … If you have many unspeakable confidences and are unwilling to lay bare your secrets—your difficulties—to others so as to seek the way of the light, then I say that you are one for whom salvation will not be easily received and who will not easily emerge from the darkness. If seeking the way of truth pleases you well, then you are one who lives often in the light” (“Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As I saw from God’s words, a person who is not willing to open up on his confidences and difficulties to seek the truth is a deceitful person. Because God detests and hates deceitful people, there is no work of the Holy Spirit on deceitful people; regardless of how many years they have believed in God, they will be eventually eliminated. I thank God for enlightening me with His words, allowing me to realize the source of my defeat in serving God was because I was too deceitful. I never gave my heart to God, nor was willing to open up in front of God and brothers and sisters, accept the judgment and chastisement of the word of God and thus be cleansed. And so I constantly lived in an incorrect situation, losing the work of the Holy Spirit and being lost in darkness. If I communicated my actual situation to the sister in charge when I first saw her, she would definitely have communicated with me in truth, and my situation would have been reversed in a timely manner. If I continued to be innocent and opened up, then I would have a normal relationship with God, and would not have been prejudiced against the sister in charge, nor would I have brought about such great losses to the work of God’s family. Thank God for revealing to me His righteous disposition, and using His words to reveal and judge me, letting me realize my own deceitful nature, and see the root cause of my failure, pointing out a path of practice to me. No matter how many difficulties I have, how many wrong situations, if I open up and seek to resolve with the truth, acting on God’s words, I will obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. Only by removing the disguise and being an honest person can one be saved by God.

From God’s words, I saw hope and my heart was particularly touched. Even though my actions have already hurt God, God has never forsaken me, and is still silently saving me. Behind this seemingly severe judgment and chastisement lie God’s kind intentions. It lets me deeply appreciate that this is “deep love as in how a father teaches his son.” The essence of God is not only faithful, it is good. Everything He expresses is truth, worthy of being treasured. This essence is not something a corrupted human has. Even though my essence is deceitful and ugly, and everything I do defies the truth, I am willing to return to God, and do my utmost to seek the truth and to seek a change in my disposition, and stop disguising myself for the sake of maintaining worthless face and position. In the future, regardless of difficulties or wrong situations, I would like to open up to people to seek the truth, and be an honest man to comfort God’s heart!

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